Zimbabwe Human Rights
NOV 11: Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law
Zimbabweans participated in presidential and parliamentary elections in July 2013. Robert Mugabe was re-elected president for a five year term, and his party, ZANU-PF, regained majority control of Parliament. Amnesty International did not observe human rights violations or violence on polling day, but noted several incidents following the elections tied to activists refusing to reveal their vote.
Amnesty International observed high levels of repression prior to the elections. Since September 2012, nearly every single civil society organization of note in Zimbabwe working on civil, political and human rights issues had their offices raided, or leadership arrested, or both. GALZ (Gay and Lesbian Zimbabwe) faced particular scrutiny and continues to be harassed by police. WOZA (Women of Zimbabwe Arise), a human and civil rights organization dedicated to empowering and educating Zimbabweans to participate in the political process, experienced several incidents of arrest and violence at the hands of the security sector. The most recent incident occurred in February 2014 during their annual Valentine's Day peaceful protest when several activists faced abuse by riot police.
Amnesty International continues to monitor incidents of forced eviction in Zimbabwe, as well as the human rights violations occurring as a result of these displacements. In one informal settlement outside the capital Harare, Amnesty International documented the deaths of infants due to inadequate warmth and sanitation facilities. This needless loss of life caused by poor government policies must be addressed immediately by the government. Additionally, a recent report documented an estimated 220,000 children experienced a disruption to their education as a result of 2005's Operation Murambatsvina, when the Zimbabwe government displaced 700,000 people.